Frosh parade and concert cost $515,000, including $100,000 from the Student Association of George Brown College
One of the most popular and breathtaking events that took place in the history of George Brown College was the frosh Parade and Concert organized in collaboration with The Ryerson Students Union (RSU) on Sept. 11.
Ryerson has constantly been in the news about how fabulous the event went by and how they were able to close their last-minute deal on the country’s biggest heartthrob—Drake.
But what has been sidelined is that the Parade and Concert was not just a RSU event but was the result of the collaboration the Student Association of George Brown College (SA).
“It’s a shame that the media portrayed it solely as a Ryerson concert,” said Rachel Grace, the SA’s director of campus life.
The RSU spent an estimated $515,000 on this year’s Parade and Concert and the SA contributed $95,000 to their partnership, according to Grace. According to Neil Cumberbatch, the SA’s senior coordinator of events and marketing, the SA paid an additional $5,000 to take part in the parade.
“Twenty-four hours before the event the entire layout got switched,” explained Grace. “The stage was supposed to go where the beer garden was in Lake Devo. If it would have been in there it would have allowed us to have the proper signage on the stage, which were two large banners with SA logos. On the LED screens we realized only halfway through the event that we had very little branding.”
The preparations for the event started as soon as the newly elected executives took office in May and soon the board members were introduced to the RSU’s board. With Ryerson and George Brown being sister schools collaborating on several academic fronts, the two boards started discussing the Week of Welcome and creating a social partnership.
“We thought that maybe it is a very good idea to get together, pool our resources, finances and ideas together and create this over-the-top concert which neither GBC nor Ryerson has seen before,” said Grace.
As D-day approached, the organizers realized that the venue was actually a smaller capacity than was earlier anticipated and the hype around it revealed that this was going to be a huge production.
“Our priority then became safety and that was why a limited amount of registration slots were released for the event,” said Grace.
Some students were a little frustrated outside of the event as security caused a bottleneck resulting in in long lines stretching all the way back to Dundas Street.
“I think the people organizing it didn’t really did a good job,” said GBC student Christine Lain. “I think outside the police needed to control everybody and after coming in here they don’t have an ATM machine which I think would have been beneficial.”
Ryerson student, Melissa Mineo was dismayed over the security outside the venue but couldn’t hold back her excitement, “I think all the artists are going to be awesome!”
“At first we released 2,000 spots and 1,000 spots were sold out within first ten minutes.” said Grace. “George Brown tickets were going a little bit slower than Ryerson but overall we had about 2,000 tickets sold out in approximately 15 minutes.”
There were 2750 registration spots for GBC students over a course of three different times while Ryerson had 3750 according to Grace.
Last year, the SA spent $60,000 on their frosh concert which had 450 people at the concert. The 500 per cent increase in the footfall clearly determined this year’s success for the SA.
“I don’t think GBC has ever had that amount of students coming to a social event in history!” exclaimed Grace.
“Behind the scenes we were a little disorganized, but that comes naturally with the fact that we were five young adults from RSU and us at the SA managing a crowd of 6,500. It was literally a student-organized event and we are not professionals.” said Grace. “I was in the event planning program at George Brown, but this was my first real event planning experience. So naturally there was a little disorganization but we learned so much in planning this event that it was a good experience.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article omitted part of a quote from Grace and stated an incorrect date for the concert. It has also been updated to reflect the original plan for the layout of the stage. The Dialog regrets the errors.